Over the past four years the Festival has been delivered through workshops facilitated by leading Arts Council listed creatives, held in communities with community groups, school classes and libraries. Of course

we could not do this for the 2020 Festival so we moved the Festival 100% online. We invited you to enter our competitions on-line and you did.

We will launch details of the 2021 event programme shortly here are the 2021 Festival categories;

  • Photography and video diary/ short film
  • Creative writing
  • Creative textiles

The Festival celebrates heritage and culture on our shorelines, inland waterways, rivers and maritime locations. Gathering individual and family memories and current day thoughts on their lives close to waterways anywhere. In 2020 people and groups interested in waterways, communities and individuals took part including the Lagan Navigation, Lough Neagh, Dublin Canal, Rivers Bann, Blackwater and Connswater with entries from UAS and Canada. Over 2,000 people took part. Now entering its 5th year, the Festival dates and programme will be lunched shortly.

If you need some inspiration check out the coverage of the Facebook Live Awards Event hosted by our beloved TV presenter John Daly and guests. Here is the programme and the event itself https://www.facebook.com/waterwaysstorymakingfestival

This year we are extending our competition categories to both online and face to face, wherever possible, submissions.

All work to be entered in the competitions can be done whilst in isolation or during social distancing with our support and submitted on line by the author/creators themselves or friends within the published time frames, age groups and terms and conditions of entry.

Listen to the National Museums NI sound clips of waterways folks through history below and start your writing, drawing, painting, photography and short film stories and craft work based on one of the characters you will hear.

Aghagallon Tapestry Workshop 1

In 2020 the National Museums NI partnered with the Festival to add some aural and pictorial inspiration for participants. In the ‘National Museums NI waterways sound clips’ section of this website, you will find a range of waterways-themed sound clips drawn from interviews recorded by museum curators in the 1970s and 1980s. These clips have recently been digitized within National Museums NI’s ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’ project, and we hope they give you a flavour of the modern history of Ulster’s canals, loughs and rivers. Check out the video below.

Unfortunately, in light of the current situation and restrictions, the Storymaking Photo Tour was cancelled. we hope to lunch this again in the 2021 Festival programme


Stay safe and take care.

* This one-off tour will be facilitated by an expert photography guide from Belfast Exposed

* Participants will be provided with top tips and techniques to help create their very own photo essay and capture stunning images along Belfast’s iconic waterfront

* The tour will kick off with a short workshop where participants will learn how to create a winning photo essay including storyboarding ideas and creating a plan as well as learning some top tips for establishing and capturing images

* After the workshop the group will visit Thompson Dock, the Great Light and Titanic Slipways. The group will receive some 1-2-1 advice from our photography guide, learning composition skills and camera technical skills to enhance the final images

* Completed photo essays can then be submitted to the Waterways Storymaking Festival’s Photography competition www.thewaterwayscommunity.org

* The tour is suitable for all levels, from experienced photographers to enthusiastic amateurs, SLRs to camera-phones

* To book a space, please email info@titanic-foundation.org

*** Please note, that due to current Covid restrictions, spaces on the tour are extremely limited so we would recommend that people book their space as soon as possible. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum of 2 people per household. ***